Momos (Nepalese dumplings)

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March 5, 2008

Serves 6

2 pounds ground chicken, lamb, or pork
2 onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 piece fresh ginger (3 inches), finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
1teaspoon salt
2 packages (45 to 50 total) round, 3-inch dumpling wrappers, available in Asian markets and some supermarkets
Extra canola oil (for the rack)
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, lamb, or pork with the onion, cilantro, ginger, garlic, scallions, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, oil, ghee or butter, and salt. Using your hands, gently work the meat mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Place a small bowl of water near your work area. Take a dumpling wrapper in one hand and wet the edges of the wrapper with the other. Using a spoon, place about 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to cover the filling. As you do so, make pleats around the edge using your index finger and thumb. Tightly seal the edges so the juices and filling don't leak.

3. Fill a large pot with several inches of water. Bring to a boil. Oil a bamboo or metal steamer rack thoroughly. Arrange the momos in a single layer, making sure they don't touch each other. Carefully place the rack on the boiling water. Cover with the lid and steam for 10 to 15 minutes or until the filling is cooked through. Serve hot with tomato chutney. Adapted from Jeny Lalchan

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